It’s that wonderful, lazy point of summer that I love. Time slips away sitting with my toes in the sand, and it seems like one of our friends invites us to a cook out every other day. I can’t get enough picnic food even on rainy days spent indoors, and I live for my next watermelon slush.
But what to take to all of those picnics? Showing up empty-handed is not an option! Today, I’ve collected our seven favorite summer side dishes, all of which are awesome to carry with you to any potluck, barbeque, or party you’re invited to attend over the next few months:
First up, Calico Beans. This dish is super colorful, but more importantly – it’s tasty! Every picnic needs baked beans, and this is a great spin on that traditional dish. Plus, bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?
One of the first recipes I posted here on The PinterTest Kitchen was my Lick-Your-Plate Potato Salad. To this day, this is one of my favorite summertime recipes. It’s easy to customize with flavors you like (I’ve put everything in it from carrots to bacon). The secret ingredient is sour cream, which gives the sauce a tangy, mouth-watering taste. You’re going to want to make and extra-large batch!
Summertime has to include strawberries, right? Now, personally, I can’t stand strawberries, but I think I’m in the minority on that one. My boyfriend says that I must not like sunshine and happiness, because that’s what strawberries are! This Strawberry Spinach Salad has crunch onions and walnuts, as well as a perfect dressing. It’s refreshing and easy to make for your next picnic.
Microwave Potato Chips are fun to make with the kids. They do take a little time, but the process is easy. The hardest part is not eating them all as you make them so you have enough to take along to the picnic!
I just posted this Sweet Summer Slaw recipe earlier this month, and it is still making my mouth water. This is perfect as a stand-alone side dish or on top of hot dog, taco, or pork pork sandwich.
If you’re short on time, nothing is easy to take to a potluck than a salad. But a traditional salad, no matter what you add to the lettuce, is a little boring without an awesome dressing. This is that awesome dressing you need to wow everyone – Honey Mustard Dressing that’s a copycat of the dressing you can get from Chili’s.
Last but certainly not least: Spinach Artichoke Dip. It’s pretty. It’s easy to make, even the night before, and it’s a crowd-pleaser. What’s not to love?
So there you have it, seven awesome side dish recipes for your next summer cook out. Do you have a favorite recipe that you love for picnics? Share with a comment below!